I’m still getting emails with questions about where you should go and do! Why should a few benefit when many can? Below are my tips to have your own “detox”.
1) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Choose a hotel that is not too big. You don’t want to be stuck in a sprawling complex eating pizza for dinner when you can experience the local culture. Find a bed and breakfast or boutique hotel. I also love the idea of vacation rentals. They are affordable, you can stock your own fridge and make your meals.
2) LOW KEY
Skip the luxury approach. Something about that just makes you feel romantic! If you are single and traveling alone, trust that it is not a feeling you want to take to bed with you every night. You will wish someone was there to cuddle with you. Get a nice, comfortable place with bed, private bathroom and some amenities. I like the smaller approach because as a single traveler you can get lost in a big resort. People need to know who and where you are if something happens. Not just your last name. A small bed and breakfast will know you and you will feel safe. Keep the cost low and challenge yourself to live a little lighter.
3) BUY YOUR OWN ALCOHOL
This is only for people who can handle their liquor. I can drink a cocktail or two alone and be fine. It’s relaxing especially with my favorite book under a tree. If you wait till dinner or go to a bar every time you want a drink you are spending carelessly. Sure, there are some nights to do that. But after everything has died down or even during the middle of the day, you may want to cozy up with a nice cocktail of your own. I bought a small bottle of coconut rum and strawberry banana juice and mixed! Don’t make this complicated.
4) DON’T BE RUDE TO THE MEN
If you are a woman alone traveling you will be catcalled alot especially in the Caribbean. Here’s how I handled it: I never responded. I never gave direct eye contact. I always knew my surroundings. I did acknowledge the calls by tilting my head or having a plain smile. Because if you completely ignore them they will keep trying and you don’t want to be rude. Remember, you are in a foreign land and if they want to find out where you stay they can.
5) TALK TO PEOPLE
You want to ask questions if you need something and make eye contact with the right people. Open yourself to meeting new people. Don’t approach men at a bar for attention or engage men in conversations first for obvious reasons. Being alone, looks to some men like you are “looking for action”. That you don’t want to be alone, and they want to fix that. So be aware of this and don’t engage and you will not attract drama or confusion. I never had any problems. But if you see another woman or couple that is better. Know when to keep to yourself, too, because you don’t want to intrude on others or seem helpless. Leave needy eyes at home and ask questions only to the right people. Walk straight and determined like you know what you are doing. Embrace yourself, get comfortable in your skin.
6) ARRANGE LOTS OF ACTIVITY
I had 2 leisure days on my trip where I did nothing much but stroll the town, take photos and swim. However, all the other days were jam packed from 6am to 6pm. I always had something to do, a place to go, something to see. I met other people doing this too. I was always moving. Get a routine (activities–wash–dinner–relax-sleep), it will make you feel safer and more in control.
7) EAT WELL
Eat local as much as possible and if there is a grocery store, buy a can of tuna or something you like. Make yourself a few sandwiches to cut back on spending. That’s what I did. I didn’t want to spend all my money on food, I spent it on activities and art.
8) BUY LOCAL ART
This was the first trip where I spent money on art. I never bought anything more than a nice picture from a dept store or $20 print. I bought REAL ART. Two beautiful pieces that clicked with me and I plan to have framed. They are by Daniel Rodriguez, a local Belizean artist.
9) DON’T TELL ANYONE
Find what you want to do and go. Of course, let any close family know and maybe a supportive friend or two. But keep it to yourself until you get back. You want to arrive completely pure and free from others worries and energy. This is about you not what anyone else thinks or wants for you.
10) LEARN SOMETHING
Take a class or get a certification in something new. I got certified in diving, never done it. But now I am open to a big, beautiful world of divers, diving resorts and new connections. If you like food, take a class or course in Europe, or learn to bike ride in Madrid or plant a garden in Chile. Do whatever. Just don’t lay down on the beach and sip mai tais.
11) BE A REGULAR
Find a spot that you go to at least twice where you get to see the same bartender or server. It always feels good to walk into a place where people have seen you before and “know” you. While most people will be there for the first time, you’re back and engaged in colorful conversations recommending your favorite dishes.
An alpha female is about coming up with creative ways to solve life’s problems. We all know about therapists and self help books and those are important. Very important. But we also have everything we need right now to live in the moment. If all you have is a car, go to a new city and plan an adventure. You have everything you need. Don’t waste it. Take your chances.
Read more in this series.
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